- CN - China shuts down Internet in Xinjiang region after riots +/-
(OpenNetIniative) China has completely shut down Internet service in the autonomous region of Xinjiang after ethnic riots left at least 140 people dead and hundreds more injured. Twitter also appears to be blocked throughout the country. Government-owned news agency Xinhua is reporting that the violence began when Uighur demonstrators "started beating pedestrians and smash [sic] buses." The article quotes a public security official who says, "it was like a war zone here, with many bodies of ethnic Han people.
- CN - China to implement program for clean online games +/-
(Xinhua) The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) of China said that the country will next year start to implement a five-year program advocating clean online games. Sun Shoushan, vice director of the GAPP, said the administration will put forward the "China Green Online Games Publishing Program" this year and the implementation begins since next year. The official made the remarks at a forum during the seventh session of the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (Chinajoy), one day after the GAPP issued a notice warning of the illegal release of online games and declaring stricter control on the games' approval. Some illegal companies release pornographic and violent games on the Internet, the notice said.
- CN - Chinese Web sites close amid tightening controls +/-
(AP) Two more Web sites dedicated to social networking went offline in China amid tightening controls that have blocked Facebook, Twitter and other popular sites that offered many Chinese a rare taste of free expression. China's crackdown on social networking sites began in March, when Chinese Web users found they could no longer visit YouTube shortly after video appeared on the site purporting to show Chinese security officials mistreating Tibetans. The blockages continued through the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and the recent ethnic riots in Xinjiang, with homegrown and overseas micro-blogging and photo-sharing sites among those targeted. Experts say the fact the sites are not coming back online shows the harsh measures are part of a long-term strategy to pare back the power of the Internet and silence some voices finding expression here.
- CN - How China polices the internet +/-
(Financial Times) Like the entire political apparatus in China, the censorship machine is controlled by two institutional bodies: the Communist party and the government. At the national level, the propaganda department of the party and the information office of the state council (the cabinet) are in charge. But these institutions only deal with big, strategic issues or nationwide challenges to the party's image and power. Day-to-day surveillance and control of the population are carried out by a far greater number of departments: the double structure of censorship institutions is duplicated at the provincial, county and city level; in addition, every government department operates its own internet surveillance. Together, the authorities keep a 24-hour watch on what is said online. The police force still does surveillance via keyword searches on search engines, with every officer being given a certain number of keywords to cover. Increasingly, however, more advanced methods are being employed, such as the use of "data-mining" software. The "internet cops" can also order website hosts to take down unwanted content. Elsewhere, government departments monitor the online response to their policies and watch out for unrest brewing in their area of responsibility, or for accusations of misconduct or corruption against one of their own. This information is then - selectively - passed on to the local propaganda department and information offices, which decide on a response.
- Associated Press plans tracking system to enforce its rights online +/-
- European Publishers Call on E.U. to Protect Copyright +/-
(New York Times) Leading European newspaper and magazine publishers have called on the European Commission to strengthen copyright protection as a way to lay the groundwork for new ways to generate revenue online. The publishers said widespread use of their work by online news aggregators and other Web sites was undermining their efforts to develop an online business models at a time when readers and advertisers are defecting from newspapers and magazines. See Press Release (EPC) and the Hamburg Declaration. The declaration started life as a regional initiative in Germany and then enjoyed nationwide support. Now, with the support of members of EPC and WAN-IFRA, the "Hamburg Declaration" has become an important international initiative. See also see also Working with News Publishers (Google European Public Policy Blog). The truth is that news publishers, like all other content owners, are in complete control when it comes not only to what content they make available on the web, but also who can access it and at what price. Millions of webmasters around the world, including news publishers, use a technical standard known as the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) to tell search engines whether or not their sites, or even just a particular web page, can be crawled.
- FR - L'INA admet avoir mis en ligne des pubs sans en avoir les droits +/-
(01net) Lors du lancement de son nouveau site, l´institut a mis en ligne 200 000 spots. Interpellé dans une lettre ouverte par une société de production, il reconnaît ne pas avoir consulté les ayants droit.
- UK - Legal row over National Portrait Gallery images placed on Wikipedia +/-
(Guardian) The National Portrait Gallery has threatened legal proceedings for breach of copyright against a man who downloaded thousands of high-resolution images from its website, and placed them in an archive of free-to-use images on Wikipedia. There has been no formal response from the internet encyclopedia but Derrick Coetzee, who downloaded the images, promptly uploaded the letter from the London lawyers Farrar and Co, "to enable public discourse on the issue". See also Wikipedia painting row escalates (BBC).
- UK - Plug pulled on suspected pirates +/-
(BBC) Web users suspected of file-sharing are being cut off without warning by internet service provider (ISP) Karoo, based in Hull. Karoo, the only ISP in the area, makes customers sign a document promising not to repeat the offence in order to get their service restored.
- US - Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle +/-
(New York Times) In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm" from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them. An Amazon spokesman, Drew Herdener, said in an e-mail message that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them, using a self-service function.
- US - Pioneering Peer-to-Patent system not renewed for third year +/-
(OUT-LAW News) A pioneering patent system being piloted in the US has been stopped from accepting new submissions. The Peer-to-Patent project harnessed web users' knowledge to improve patent quality but the project has been curtailed. It will no longer assess new patents, but will process those already on its books, which is expected to take until October. The system was launched two years ago as an attempt to harness the wisdom of web users to ensure that nobody was granted a patent monopoly on things that had already been invented. The service may be reinstated after a period of analysis, though. US President Barack Obama has named a supporter of the programme as the next head of the USPTO. David Kappos has been named as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.
- CA - Facebook needs to improve privacy practices, investigation finds +/-
(Press Release) In order to comply with Canadian privacy law, Facebook must take greater responsibility for the personal information in its care, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said in announcing the results of an investigation into the popular social networking site's privacy policies and practices. See Michael Geist's summary.
- Dawn of the Location-Enabled Web +/-
(Center for Democracy and Technology) CDT has released a Policy Post outlining issues related to the newly emerging location-enabled web. Location data should be under the control of the user; who collects it, what it gets used for, whether or not it gets shared and how long the data is stored are all decisions that should be in the hands of users, the Policy Post says. Location-enabled technologies should be designed with privacy in mind from the beginning, says the Policy Post. In addition, it says that ensuring that location information is transmitted and accessed in a privacy-protective way is essential to the future success of location-based applications and services.
- EU - Personal data protection - consultation on legal framework +/-
(Tech and Law blog) The EU are conducting a wide-ranging consultation to seek views on the new challenges for personal data protection in order to maintain an effective and comprehensive legal framework to protect individual's personal data within the EU. Any views may be submitted by email, whether by citizen or organisation or public authority, on: What are the new challenges for personal data protection, in particular in the light of new technologies and globalisation? Does the current legal framework meets these challenges? What future action would be needed to address the identified challenges? The consultation web page has links to useful background papers, including papers and slides from a data protection conference "Personal data - more use, more protection" held by the Commission in May 2009. For that conference there are slides on identity management as well as data protection, freedom of information, transparency, security and law - all of which are relevant here. Deadline for submission of contributiosn: 31 December 2009.
- UK - Right to privacy broken by a quarter of public databases +/-
(Guardian) A quarter of all the largest public-sector database projects, including the ID cards register, are fundamentally flawed and clearly breach European data protection and rights laws, according to a report, Database State by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. The report says that 11 of the 46 biggest schemes, including the national DNA database and the Contactpoint index of all children in England, should be given a "red light" and immediately scrapped or redesigned. Only six of the 46 systems, including those for fingerprinting, get a "green light" for being effective, proportionate, necessary and established - with a legal basis to guarantee against privacy intrusions. But even some of these databases have operational problems. A further 29 databases earn an "amber light", meaning they have significant problems including being possibly illegal, and needing to be shrunk or split, or be amended to allow individuals the right to opt out. This group includes the NHS summary care record, the national childhood obesity database, the national pupil database, and the automatic number-plate recognition system. The study is by members of the Foundation for Information Policy Research, including Ross Anderson, a Cambridge University professor. It says Britain is now the most invasive surveillance state and the worst at protecting privacy of any western democracy.
- UK - Another database +/-
(BBC) Several high-profile authors are to stop visiting schools in protest at new laws requiring them to be vetted to work with youngsters. Philip Pullman, author of fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, said the idea was "ludicrous and insulting". Former children's laureates Anne Fine, Michael Morpugo and illustrator Quentin Blake have hit out at the scheme which costs £64 per person. The Home Office says the change from October will help protect children. Anyone who has "more than a tiny amount" of contact with children or vulnerable adults will have to sign up to the Vetting and Barring Scheme before November 2010. But the authors, including fantasy writer Mr Pullman, say they have worked in schools for years without ever being left alone with children.
- UK - Blogging detective has no right to privacy, rules High Court +/-
(OUT-LAW News) A controversial blogging detective has failed in his attempt to protect his anonymity and The Times newspaper has named him. The High Court said it was not its job to protect blogging police officers from disciplinary action over broken police rules. The author of the NightJack police blog, which has revealed details of cases and engaged in criticism of ministers potentially in breach of police rules, claimed that The Times should be stopped from naming him. He said that the newspaper owed a duty to keep the information confidential, and that he had a right to privacy. See The Author of A Blog v Times Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1358 (QB) (16 June 2009). See also Anonymous blogging in UK: NightJack / Times - other worrying issues (A Consuming Experience) by Improbulus.
- UK - Forensic Science and Human Rights: the Challenges +/-
(Judiciary of England and Wales) The Hon Sir Jack Beatson FBA, a Justice of the High Court of England and Wales. Valedictory address as President of the British Academy of Forensic Science 2007-2009. Inner Temple 16 June 2009; See also Police retention of DNA etc - forensic science & human rights (Tech and Law blog).
- UK - Four million British identities are up for sale on the internet +/-
(Times) The identities of more than four million Britons are being offered for sale on the internet. Highly sensitive financial information, including credit card details, bank account numbers, telephone numbers and even PINs are available to the highest bidder. At least a quarter of a million British bank and credit card accounts have been hacked into by cybercriminals, exposing consumers to huge financial losses. Most of the personal data has been gathered as a result of "phishing" - a process whereby members of the public are duped into handing over their key details, such as user names, passwords and credit card details. They are then sold to the highest bidder on online forums or hacking websites. See Identity theft: is your personal data for sale on the internet? Lucid Intelligence, Garlik etc (Improbulus).
- AU - Net filtering a $33m waste: child groups +/-
(Australian IT) Child rights groups have come out in force to criticise the Rudd Labor government's controversial plan to censor the internet, saying the scheme will divert around $33 million away from more effective ways of tackling online child pornography. In a joint statement with lobby group GetUp, both Save the Children Australia and the National Children's & Youth Law Centre believe the resources could be better spent on law enforcement agencies battling to eradicate child pornography on the internet.
- DE - Bundeskriminalamt fühlt sich gerüstet für Web-Sperren +/-
(Heise) Das Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) kann nach eigenen Angaben "ab Beginn des Wirkbetriebes" der geplanten Infrastruktur zum Blockieren kinderpornographischer Inhalte die von ihm zu erstellende Filterliste zur Verfügung stellen. Es werde dabei "im Benehmen mit zuständigen Stellen" sichergestellt, dass allen nach dem Gesetz verpflichteten Provider die Liste erhalten. Auch für die "Kompatibilität" des Filterverzeichnisses mit den Systemen der Zugangsanbieter werde gesorgt. Details zu den technischen Abläufen könnten "aus Sicherheitsgründen" aber nicht bekannt gegeben werden.
- NZ - Web filter will focus solely on child sex abuse images +/-
(Press release) A filtering system to block websites that host child sexual abuse images will be available voluntarily to New Zealand internet service providers (ISPs) within a couple of months, Internal Affairs Deputy Secretary, Keith Manch, said today. The Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, funded with $150,000, will be operated by the Department in partnership with ISPs, and will focus solely on websites offering clearly objectionable images of child sexual abuse, which is a serious offence for anyone in New Zealand to access. The Department has entered into a partnership with ECPAT New Zealand, part of a global organisation the purpose of which is the elimination of child prostitution and pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes. "ECPAT is operating a hotline through its website so that members of the public can report suspect sites, not already identified by the Department." see also NZ Internet Filtering FAQ by Thomas Beagle.
- All the news that's free to print +/-
(Economist) Internet traffic to newspaper websites is soaring, but is proving fiendishly hard to monetise in amounts that will support an extensive network of reporters and editors. Labels: Market.htm">Market
- Demand for iPhone outstrips supply +/-
(Reueters) Apple said it can't meet current demand for the iPhone 3GS. The 3GS is available in 18 countries and is being rolled out this summer to another 80-plus countries. Overall, the company sold 5.2 million iPhones in the June quarter, ahead of many analysts' estimates. That total includes sales of the reduced-price $99 iPhone 3G.
- Google v Microsoft: Clash of the titans +/-
(Economist.com) Google launches a direct assault on Microsoft with the promise of a new PC operating system.
- ITU - TechWatch Alert on Mobile Apps +/-
(ITU) The latest publication by ITU-T's Technology Watch looks into the quickly growing field of mobile applications. Mobile applications (apps) are add-on software for handheld devices, such as smartphones and personal digital assistants (PDA). Between 2008 and 2009, the market for smartphones is expected to grow by 23 per cent, against an overall decline in the total mobile phone market caused by the economic crisis. The availability of a wide choice of applications can be critical to the commercial success of new mobile devices. Even as more smartphones are sold, the creation of mobile applications to run on them is constrained by the fragmentation of the market between different platforms. Mobile Applications describes the mobile application market and identifies initiatives that aim at standards for an open and interoperable mobile environment. Mobile Applications is the first publication in a series of TechWatch Alerts. Alerts are intended to provide a brief but concise overview (3-5 pages) of emerging technologies and trends in the field of ICTs.
- JP - Why Japan's Cellphones Haven't Gone Global +/-
(New York Times) At first glance, Japanese cellphones are a gadget lover's dream: ready for Internet and e-mail, they double as credit cards, boarding passes and even body-fat calculators. But it is hard to find anyone in Chicago or London using a Japanese phone like a Panasonic, a Sharp or an NEC. Despite years of dabbling in overseas markets, Japan's handset makers have little presence beyond the country's shores.
- CH - Examining the Effects of Child Pornography +/-
(About.com Sexuality Blog) By Cory Silverberg. Researchers in Switzerland took unique advantage of a 2002 sweep of child pornography viewers in Zurich to examine what the relationship between viewing child pornography and sexually offending against children might be. Researchers got the names of 231 men charged with viewing child pornography in 2002. They searched their criminal records prior to 2002 and also recorded any convictions or police investigations between 2002 and 2008. The researchers surmise that viewing child pornography alone isn't, at least among these men, enough of a risk factor to predict that they will commit a hands-on sexual offense against a child. The consumption of Internet child pornography and violent and sex offending. Jerome Endrass , Frank Urbaniok , Lea C Hammermeister , Christian Benz , Thomas Elbert , Arja Laubacher and Astrid Rossegger. BMC Psychiatry 2009.
- EU Kids Online - Outcome and follow-on +/-
(LSE) The last alert from EU Kids Online contains information about the follow-up European survey project EU Kids Online II. It has details about the wealth of analysis of research results, recommendations for research methodology and policy recommendations produced by the project. See the Final Report of main findings from the EU Kids Online network. A summary of the final report has been translated into 11 languages (Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovene and Spanish). The report of the international one day conference on 11th June 2009, with PowerPoint presentations, research summaries and a video of the plenary speakers can all be found on the website.
- Report: Internet use in Asia, Africa, and Mid-East set to soar +/-
(Christian Science Monitor) A new report from Forrester Research estimates that approximately 2.2 billion people will be online over the next few years - an increase of over 45 percent. Analysts at Forrester forecast that, by 2013, 43 percent of that 2.2 billion will be based in Asia, with 17 percent in China alone. In 2008, the United States was home to the most Internet users, followed by China, Japan, Brazil, and Germany. By comparison, in 2013, China will be in first place, followed by the US, India, Japan, and Brazil. See also chart.
- Russia's avid social networkers +/-
(NetFamilyNews) Russians are the most engaged social networkers in the world, spending an average of 6.6 hours in social sites a month, based on comScore's survey of online social networking in 40 countries. "Of the 1.1 billion people age 15 and older worldwide who accessed the Internet from a home or work location in May 2009, 734.2 million visited at least one social networking site during the month, representing a penetration of 65% of the worldwide Internet audience," comScore's press release says.
- UK - Facebook driving mobile net usage +/-
(BBC) A third of young people regularly access Facebook and Twitter via their mobile, a new report has found. The study, published by mobile research firm CCS Insight, found that access to social networking sites was driving the take-up of mobile internet services. Facebook is more popular than Bebo, MySpace and Twitter combined, it found.
- UK - Important new book on youth online +/-
(NetFamilyNews) LSE professor Sonia Livingstone has published her new book, Children and the Internet: Great Expectations, Challenging Realities. Media professor Henry Jenkins has just blogged a short interview with Livingstone about her book.
- UK - Morgan Stanley teen intern on peers' media use +/-
(Net Family News) A report by Morgan Stanley's 15-year-old intern Matthew Robson on his friends' media habits got "five or six times more feedback" than its European media team's usual reports, the Financial Times reports. Robson "confirmed" that teens don't use Twitter; don't watch much TV or listen to much radio, preferring music-focused social sites such as Last.fm; "find advertising 'extremely annoying and pointless'; and, as in newspapers, "'cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text'" instead of "summaries online or on television." Teens' "time and money is spent on cinema, concerts and video game consoles which, [Robson] said, now double as a more attractive vehicle for chatting with friends than the phone." See also Dissing Matthew Robson (or was that Morgan Stanley?).
- US - Wireless Internet Use +/-
(Pew Internet & American Life Project) 56% of adult Americans have accessed the internet by wireless means, such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player. The most prevalent way people get online using a wireless network is with a laptop computer; 39% of adults have done this. The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the internet on a mobile handset. One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking. On the typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007. See also Home Broadband Adoption 2009. 63% of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home.